Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Trial to start for man beat down by Kai the hitchhiker

Caleb Lawrence McGillvary AKA Kai

The trial of Jett Simmons McBride, 55, will begin tomorrow but without its star witness, Kai the hitchhiker, because Kai is in jail in New Jersey.

Kai — actually Caleb Lawrence McGillvary, 25, — is the Canadian man who rose to fame earlier this year as “Kai the hatchet-wielding hitchhiker.”

In February, McBride plowed his car into a Pacific Gas and Electric worker in Fresno, California – allegedly because he was African-American, according to McGillvary.

McGillvary, a lifestyle hitchhiker who defines himself as “home free,” was in the passenger seat when McBride slammed his car into the man. While the worker was pinned between the car and his truck, a mother and daughter made their way over to the victim in order to help. And that’s when things took a turn for the worse as the attack continued.

McBride, claiming to be “Jesus,” attacked the mother, beating her, which prompted McGillvary to pick up a hatchet and run towards the chaos.

McGillvary hit McBride a few times in the head with the hatchet.

The woman reported to a news crew that she believed McGillvary saved her life.

Now “Kai,” has been indicted on murder charges of his own, preventing him from appearing as a key witness for the prosecution in McBride’s trial. The Internet celebrity — who even appeared on an episode of The Jimmy Kimmel Show — could face a life sentence in prison. 

74-year-old lawyer Joseph Galfy, was found murdered in his Clark, New Jersey on May 13, 2013. It’s reported by police that McGillvary and Galfy had met in New York City. After investigators found digital evidence linking Galfy and McGillvary, McGillvary was charged with the murder.

McGillvary claims he was sexually assaulted in Galfy’s home.

McGillvary wrote on a Facebook post, 

“What would you do if you woke up with a groggy head, in a stranger’s house, realizing that someone had drugged and raped you? What would you do?” The post appeared around

Jett Simmons McBride

the time that Galfy was murdered.

In March, many speculated that the murder stemmed from a sexual encounter gone bad.

 “Based on the current information that we have, this seems like this potential homicide could be connected to hook-up and online dating violence,” said Jeffrey Campbell, Executive Director of Hudson Pride Connections Center. “We know that in all communities, but specifically in the gay male community, online and phone app dating and hook-up sites have become part of our culture.  It is key for our communities to institute safe guards and prevent violence when using the Internet and phone apps to hook-up and date.”

When McGillvary was initially arrested in Philadelphia earlier this year, his family spoke out about his past troubles with the law, in addition to his struggles with mental-health concerns growing up.

 His father, Gil, said that from the ages of nine to 18, McGillvary lived at a medical residential facility in Alberta, Canada, which is reported to help people with mental, behavioral, or psychiatric difficulties. His father said that he believed his son was dealing with post-dramatic stress from the events of residing at the facility.

McGillvary has entered a not guilty plea.

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